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spring 2003

Howdy, folks

I reckon those of you who read the January newsletter remember about the household appliance insurrection that plagued us last year. Well, in spite of our containment attempts, the rebellion has now spread to the house itself. The roof has started to leak and we are replacing it. Now, less you think, "hey what's the big deal?," understand our roof--according to the roofers who have gloatingly examined it--ranks as a potential ecological disaster. And if we do not have the job of removing the old roof done properly (read "expensively"), we could be charged as eco-terrorists, attacking our neighbors with deadly biological agents. The old shake roof has an undermat of asbestos.

We could wind up in the same international court as Saddam!

So after getting clearance from the EPA, CIA, FBI, and John Ashcroft, the roofer we chose has begun work. The first day just about drove the cats crazy--if cats can said to be sane. The contractor had seven or eight guys up on the roof and it sounded like a team of Clydesdales tap dancing. Panther, the black cat, slunk across the floor with his belly so close to the carpet that he looked like a slithering black snake. Leopard, the blind one, ran about bouncing off of couches, chair legs, walls, and other cats like a pin ball bouncing off bumpers and rails in an old pin ball machine. Max, Matt's fat cat, humped about like a distressed armadillo. We are into the third day of the bombardment now and the beasts have settled down, except ever now and then when the boys on the roof decide to hold what sounds like a square dance. The doe-si-does shake the entire house. Everybody squats!

Speaking of cats, I guess we won't have the old boys Panther and Leopard much longer. They are 20 years old this month. In addition to being blind as the proverbial bat, Leo is wasting away with kidney disease. He's in no pain though and is perfectly content as long as he can get his share of the loving and the smelly cat food. Pan is in better condition and even still makes patrols through the woods behind the house, but he is on medication to stimulate his appetite, which seems to work some days and others no. Hey listen, if they were human they would be well over 100 years old. And Pan still chases his tail! I'd be happy to live to a hundred and still chase tail--if I could remember why.

Ah yes, just after I finished the January newsletter, Matt was contacted by a telecom outfit moving into the area and got a job paying even better than his last. He's been working about two-plus months now. We agreed that he could remain in the guest "suite" until he could save enough money to buy a late-model used car. His old Cavalier, which he bought when he was in Air Force, has just about had it. Besides, although it was a trial having him home, especially when he couldn't find a job for six months, we hardly see him now. Like the rest of the parasites in our society, this outfit he works for now pays him to work forty hours weekly, but he usually works at least fifty. Friends, compared to today's corporations, Jesse James was an honest man. He only used a horse and a pistol.

Yes, soon we will have the house to ourselves again, and although he is eager to get back into his own living space, Matt can't understand why we are looking forward to our privacy. And he's a bright young guy!

Best,

Jim

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Jim in front of a classroom, teaching during his tenure on our local school board.


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Jim posed for the River Nymph book cover, chose the lady with the cards model and created the basic design from which Kim Killion worked.


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